There is room for progress in the fight against poverty and social exclusion in the Revised Social Package the European Commission presented in July, but the fact that the proposals to address poverty lie buried in the overall package calls into question the political commitment there is to make progress on these essential issues. This is the assessment of the European Anti Poverty Network (EAPN) in a letter sent today to the President Barroso and the Commissioner for Employment and Social affairs, Mr. Spidla.
For EAPN the potential progress includes the commitments to:
- Strengthen the EU Inclusion Strategy (the Social Open Method of Coordination),
- Set European targets in the fight against poverty,
- Produce Commission recommendations in relation to the adequacy of minimum income schemes, access to services and access to employment for people distant to the labour market (Active Inclusion)
- Strengthen EU anti discrimination legislation
“These commitments are a good day for people living in poverty” said Fintan Farrell, Director of EAPN. “However the day they are prioritised and seriously followed up will be an even better one” he added.
For EAPN the proposals only represent potential progress in the fight against poverty.
“The fact that such important proposals were not highlighted in the publicity surrounding the launch of the revised social package calls into question the political commitment there is to make progress on these essential issues” said Ludo Horemans, President of EAPN.
He added “EAPN questions the underlying vision which seems to inform the ‘Renewed Social Agenda’ with its overall reliance on market mechanisms to deliver prosperity for all, rather than the sort of action that is needed to ensure the appropriate balance between market freedoms and fundamental Rights“.
EAPN will continue to follow closely the implementation of the revised agenda and will work with other civil society actors to achieve the agreement at the highest political level of a ‘Social Progress Pact’ which reaffirms the EU’s commitment to social cohesion and which should be the basis for the post 2010 EU Agenda.
Back ground Information:
- Report of EAPN seminar on Active Inclusion (held in Paris on 13 June 2008)
For further information, please contact Audrey Gueudet (Communication Officer) or Fintan Farrell (Director), tel. +32 2 226 58 50 – fax. +32 2 226 58 69 – E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org – Website: https://www.eapn.eu/